Fontana: Petty Enterprises Friday notes

Friday's qualifying session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was rained out. The starting lineup will be set using 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points. This gives Hendrick Motorsports the front row with Jimmie Johnson on the pole and Jeff Gordon...

Friday's qualifying session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was rained out. The starting lineup will be set using 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup owner points. This gives Hendrick Motorsports the front row with Jimmie Johnson on the pole and Jeff Gordon along side.

On a day when not one lap was turned by any driver, the most exciting news came with the announcement of a new name to the two-mile speedway in Fontana, Calif. The track, which first hosted a NASCAR event in 1997, will now be known as Auto Club Speedway (ACS).

Bobby Labonte and the #43 Hamburger Helper "My Hometown Helper" Dodge team will start the race from the 19th position. After a test session at ACS early this month, the team left with an empty feeling about the setup underneath the car. After the qualifying session for the Daytona 500, they picked up and went to the Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway for more practice. Crew chief Jeff Meendering hit on a setup that Labonte really liked. This becomes even more important as practice time for Sunday's event has been cut in half by rain.

"Obviously we are disappointed that we didn't get on track today because we're still learning this new car," said Labonte. "But we left Mooresville (N.C) with a good feeling about our setup and that hasn't changed. We'll just have to maximize our practice time tomorrow."

Kyle Petty is sporting the Wells Fargo colors on his No. 45 Dodge Charger for a second consecutive race. They will roll off 35th for Sunday's event. Petty has competed in every Sprint Cup race held at ACS. That experience will be crucial, given less practice time to fine-tune the setup from crew chief Bill Wilburn.

"I was pretty happy with the way our car drove during the test session here," sounded Petty. "We picked up a few things from the '43' after their test at Nashville. But races here always come down to having enough motor to come off these flat corners and get down the straights. That hasn't changed with this new car. In the test session that was not an issue for us."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Kyle Petty
Teams Hendrick Motorsports